A unique type of contact lens has been used to help grow new stem cells that can repair damaged sight and bring hope to thousands.
Experts at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, led by researcher Karl David Brown, used minuscule sheets of adult stem cells grown on contact lenses and transferred them to the eye.
The strips were used to rebuild the surface of the cornea, which Mr Brown says could pave the way for a new, effective type of treatment for those who have suffered caustic or thermal burns or have severe inflammation of the surface of the eye.
"For most people with this problem, it is due to chemical burns from accidents, but there are also some hereditary diseases. The vision in the affected eye is fairly poor and the eye itself is quite ulcerated and painful," he explained.
Mr Brown hopes that new human trials will yield positive results - something he said he is 'cautiously optimistic' about.